Snow Shelter Course Details

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Who is the course suitable for?

Our Snow Shelter Adventure is suitable for anyone with a reasonable fitness level and a sense of adventure.  No prior experience of operating in the winter mountains is needed.  

The course is suitable for adults of all ages and we are happy to have participants as young as 16 (although under 18’s need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).

 

What is the format of the course?

We ask clients to arrive the evening before the course starts if possible (full joining instructions will be sent with your booking confirmation).  The next morning we’ll meet the team, check equipment and the weather forecast before heading off to a suitable venue to start our adventure.  

On the route to the snow shelter site we’ll make sure you can develop the skills needed to move through the winter mountains safely.  Depending on the conditions we encounter this may include use of crampons and ice axes as well as learning the skills to stop yourself on snow (ice axe arrest).  We will also have time to cover some introductory navigation skills and discuss some aspects of snow pack analysis and avalanche avoidance.

Once at the site we dig our shelter for the night.  The type of shelter will depend on the group size and snow conditions, but making them is great fun and there is a real sense of achievement as we see our home for the night appear in front of us. If time allows we’ll also discuss other types of winter shelter. 

Once the shelter is ready we’ll organise the interior and settle in.  There will be plenty of time to cook a good meal, enjoy a celebratory whisky and, if conditions allow, pop outside to enjoy the unique luxury of being alone in the winter mountains at night.

On day 2 we’ll prepare a hearty breakfast and pack our rucksacks again before heading back to base via a day’s walk through the winter mountains.  There will be time to try some additional skills and experience a journey through the winter environment before we arrive back at base for  a hot shower and a well deserved celebratory meal. 

 

How fit do I need to be?

2 continuous days carrying an overnight rucksack in the winter mountains requires reasonable fitness levels.  If you can walk uphill for 2 or 3 hours at a sensible pace with a few short rests you should be fit enough.  A typical winter day will see us out in the mountains for over 6 hours.   

 

Where is the course based?

All our winter courses are based from our comfortable valley base at Inchree which is near Fort William in the heart of the Western Highlands.  We use the west coast of Scotland because there’s a wide range of venues, the most stunning winter scenery and the most reliable winter weather.  Infact, you can’t get a better location for winter activities as a short drive gives us access to many world famous venues such as Ben Nevis and Glencoe while we still have the Cairngorms within driving distance.

 

How do I get there?  

Getting to the Highlands is easier than you might think.  It is well served by road and there are several options for public transport.  We have a dedicated travel information page that can be accessed here.

 

Accommodation

We have comfortable and convenient accommodation available for course participants and we prefer clients to stay with us.  However, we don’t include this in the course cost to give you as much choice as possible and some clients prefer to make their own arrangements.  Full details on our winter accommodation is available on own dedicated page here.

 

Who will be looking after me?

At Peak Mountaineering we pride ourselves on the quality of our instructors and our excellent reputation.  The instructor that leads your day will be fully qualified and fully insured.  They will also be one of our close knit instructor team and personally known to us.  We only use instructors who know the area well so they can ensure you get the most from your course.  

Having said all that, we know that the views of past clients are probably your best guide to the quality of our provision.  Please take the time to read the independent reviews clients have left before you book.  

 

What do I need to bring?

We can provide all the technical equipment including ice axes, crampons, harnesses and helmets (although you are welcome to bring your own if you have them).  Unlike some providers we provide these completely free of charge (more details on our policy are here).  We also have boot hire facilities available if you don’t have suitable footwear.  Infact, all you will need to bring is suitable clothing, a warm sleeping bag  and a rucksack to carry everything in.  Full details about the equipment you’ll need and our boot hire option are available on our winter kit list here

 

Other benefits for Peak Mountaineering customers

We have negotiated some great discounts with a selection of retailers for all course participants.  Full details will be sent with your joining details but you also can have a look at what’s available here.

Finally.....although we have already got a web page of frequently asked questions there are so many different aspects to winter that we felt a selection of frequently asked questions about winter courses might help you.  Of course, if you need any other information don't hesitate to give us a call on 01433 620283 or use our Contact Us page.